“Oh, I thought you just told stories to kids in the library!” Yes, that would be one form of storytelling. Luckily, stories, like cars, come in various forms. all with a similar intent: get a message across to others. Many of us are accustomed to the stories of childhood such as Aesop’s Fables and Dr. Seuss. We may also be familiar with Greek or Roman stories of Myth. But what about true stories? What about your stories?
I’ve told a story about how a cross-country drive in a 1995 Geo Metro helped me to understand that life’s journey can be more important than the destination. I’ve told the story about explaining to my wife that we could afford either a pick-up truck, or a kid, but not both at the same time. In the end, I learned that some of the best things in life are not planned. (We have both now, by the way). And I am constantly telling stories about men and women who have come before me in the fire service. It gives a heartfelt meaning to the phrase “All that I am I owe, I am eternally in the red.”
Before I found storytelling, I thought these stories were just plain, ordinary events that happened in my life. Now, however, I find that these stories have impacted myself and the people I have told them to in an extraordinary way. In a way, my stories remind me of my pick-up truck.
About 7 years ago, when I didn’t think I would have a 6-year-old daughter, I bought a 1993 Toyota pick-up truck. Nothing fancy. It’s Black and has over 200,000 miles. It has 4 wheel drive and all the dings and dents that come with 4-wheel driving. Sometimes, it creeks and squeaks like a battle-tested war machine. It’s not much, but it’s mine. I pretty well figure that while it’s a good truck, most people wouldn’t see too much value in it. Yet, in 7 years, I get the same question every few months. Sometimes at the gas station, sometimes in the parking lot, definitely when I’m at the hardware store. “Hey! How much for your truck? I’ll pay you cash!” Something that I thought only has value to me, has value to others. That’s what your personal stories can be.
So check out the website. Read the blog. Watch the videos. Read the books. Most importantly, learn how to tell your story. To your friends, to your family, to the world.